100-MW solar mission for Nashville will push Vanderbilt College to 100% renewable

100-MW solar project for Nashville will push Vanderbilt University to 100% renewable

The government of Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced a partnership with Nashville Electric Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Vanderbilt University to build 100 MW utility-scale solar power under the TVA Green Invest program. This means that over a third of the operations at Metro General Government are procured with 100% renewable energy and enable Metro to meet a benchmark for renewable energies set by the council’s legislation by 2025. Vanderbilt will be a 25 MW co-subscriber to the solar system, achieving its own goal of 100% renewable energy for campus operations. Metro-Nashville will be the first local government to seek access to Green Invest in the TVA area.

Aerial views of the Vanderbilt Campus and Kirkland Hall
(Daniel Dubois / Vanderbilt University)

“We hope that this groundbreaking partnership between government, business and universities will be a model for innovative collaboration to address the most pressing problems of our time,” said Daniel Diermeier, Chancellor of Vanderbilt University.

On behalf of Metro and Vanderbilt, TVA will sign a contract with Nashville-based Silicon Ranch to build a solar array in Tullahoma, Tennessee. The company was selected by TVA as part of the competitive procurement process 2020. Metro’s operating budget will have no tax implications until the fall of 2023, when construction of the array is expected to be complete and it will be online producing clean, renewable power.

“100 MW of solar energy not only helps mitigate the changing climate by cost-effectively and efficiently meeting Metro’s clean energy goal for 2025. It also gets Tennesseans to work and cleaner air during a pandemic that is passing through Shortness of breath is marked, “said John Cooper, Mayor of Nashville. “This public-private partnership will serve as a model for replication for NES’s other large customers. I urge the Nashville corporate sector and major institutions to view TVA Green Invest as a smart way to prepare for a greener future. “

Silicon Ranch estimates that building the array will create 500 jobs in Middle Tennessee.

As the first local government to seek access to TVA Green Invest, Nashville is given “role model” status in this policy area, allowing additional transparency into the TVA process and program structure, and taking advantage of precedents and lessons learned from other communities in the Valley.

Vanderbilt and TVA announced a separate 35 MW solar project in January this year.

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